Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
|"Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"|
|Single by Paul and Linda McCartney|
|from the album Ram|
|B-side||"Too Many People"|
|Released||2 August 1971 (US only)|
|Writer(s)||Paul and Linda McCartney|
|Producer||Paul and Linda McCartney|
|Paul and Linda McCartney singles chronology|
"Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" is a song by Paul and Linda McCartney from the album Ram. Released in the United States as a single on 2 August 1971, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1971, making it the first of a string of post-Beatles, McCartney-penned singles to top the US pop chart during the 1970s and 1980s.
The song is noted for its sound effects, including the sounds of a thunderstorm, with rain, heard between the first and second stanza, the sound of a telephone ringing, and a message machine, heard after the second stanza, and a sound of chirping sea birds and wind by the seashore. Linda's voice is heard in the harmonies as well as the bridge section of the "Admiral Halsey" portion of the song.
McCartney said "Uncle Albert" was based on his uncle. "He's someone I recall fondly, and when the song was coming it was like a nostalgia thing." McCartney also said, "As for Admiral Halsey, he's one of yours, an American admiral", referring to Admiral William "Bull" Halsey.
Aftermath and later release
Paul McCartney won the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists in 1971 for the song. The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies. "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" also appears on Wings Greatest from 1978, even though Ram was not a Wings album, and again on the US version of McCartney's 1987 compilation, All the Best!.
- Paul McCartney - lead, harmony and backing vocals, bass
- Linda McCartney - harmony and backing vocals
- David Spinozza - guitar
- Hugh McCracken - guitar
- Denny Seiwell - drums
- Marvin Stamm - flugelhorn
- New York Philharmonic - orchestral arrangement
- The song was used in the episode "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Uncle" of the British sitcom Only Fools and Horses, where the character of Uncle Albert leaves home.
- Harry Shearer uses a looped sample of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" for the "Apologies of the Week" segment of Le Show, with emphasis on McCartney saying "sorry".
- The film Greenberg includes a scene in which the character Florence, drunk on champagne, sings along to the song which Greenberg included on a mix-CD for her.
- Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard covered the song on his 1971 album First Light.
- The song is mentioned in the lyrics of the song "Hillcrest" by New Zealand band The Changing Same.
- McGee, Garry (2003). Band on the Run: A History of Paul McCartney and Wings. New York: Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 0-87833-304-5.
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